MacJournalism competes well at SIPA convention

Shield staff captures Scroggins Award for second straight year; program takes home visual, writing awards


Sophie Kessler

Sophie Kessler won Best in Show in the club photo category of the SIPA Visual Contest for this image of the band placing sixth at UIL state last November.

The three branches of MacJ—newspaper, yearbook and digital media—combined forces to represent the program very well at the 2022 Southern Interscholastic Press Association annual convention.  MacJ took home one of the five coveted Scroggins Awards for high school student media. SIPA, a press association that presents southern states and the District of Columbia, awards one winner in each platform. The Shield took home a 2022 Scroggins Award for its print newspaper after capturing its first ever Scroggins Award in 2021 for its newspaper website.

MacJ also competed very well in the SIPA visual and verbal contests, the results of which were announced at the convention, which returned in person to the University of South Carolina after being held virtually in 2021.

The complete list of MacJ winners is below.


SCROGGINS AWARD – Best of the South 

SIPA awards one publication this award in each category.

The Shield, 2022 Scroggins Award winner for newsprint publication


2022 SIPA’s Best Visual Contest winners

Best of Show=first place, Award of Merit=second place, Honorable Mention=third place


Advertising categories 


Senior ad

Award of Merit: Mia Gomez, “The 2022 Knight, pages 178-179


Art, graphic and illustration categories

Homework keeps teens up late at night, preventing them from getting enough rest, which leaves students exhausted and susceptible to depression and a defeatist attitude. (Amaya Collier)


Honorable Mention: Anna McClellan, “The Principal Selection Process


Editorial cartoon 

Best of Show: Amaya Collier, “Overworked” 


Strip cartoon 

Best of Show: Kai Kirkham, “Fish, Volume 69, No. 1

Award of Merit: Kai Kirkham, “Fish, Volume 69, No. 3

Honorable Mention: Kai Kirkham, “Fish, Volume 69, No. 2


Broadcast categories

Short film 

Honorable Mention: Alice Scott and Lucy Marco, “Thank God It’s Friday


Newsmagazine categories


Newsmagazine cover 

Award of Merit: Grace Nugent, “Volume 69, Number 2, What kind of big brother is Gaggle?


Entertainment package

Award of Merit: Samantha Powers, “Celebrating ‘Black girl magic’

Honorable Mention: Kennedy Weatherby, “There’s nothing like opening night


Feature package 

Honorable Mention: Caroline Owen, “Not just a pipe dream


Headline package 

Best of Show: Sophie Leung-Lieu. “Pandemic provides no rest for the weary


In-depth cover story package 

Best of Show: Alice Scott, Lucy Marco, Lydia Reedy and Grace Nugent, “Saying goodbye to Savers

Award of Merit: Samantha Powers, Kai Kirkham, Josie Bradsby, Lydia Reedy and Elisha Scott, “Close quarters

Honorable Mention: Grace Nugent and Madelynn Niles, “Confessions of a teenage CEO


News package
Award of Merit: Grace Nugent and Evie Barnard, “Latest Lone Star legislation


Op/ed package

Best of Show: Lanie Sephri, “It’s time to write off annotation

Honorable mention: Franice Wilhelm, Morgan Eye and Kai Kirkham, “Should hybrid learning return?


Sports package:
Best of Show: Grace Nugent, “Volume 69, Issue 1 Sports Highlights


Table of contents 

Best of Show: Madelynn Niles, “Volume 69, Issue 2 Table of contents


Newsmagazine portfolio 

Best of Show: Grace Nugent 

Award of Merit: Kennedy Weatherby

Honorable Mention: Sophie Leung-Lieu


Online categories 

If you like Science
"Terraforming Mars” In Terraforming Mars, players act as a corporation attempting to make Mars habitable. The game is scientifically based, the objective being to increase oxygen, water and temperature levels as well as to perform tasks to advance humans’ role and understanding of space. Photo by Eliot Phillips accessed via Flickr, reposted here under a creative commons license.
If you like Math
“Laser Chess” is like regular Chess, but with lasers. The laser beams bounce off of the mirrors on the pieces. According to Mr. Mills, the chess aspect of the game requires strategy and problem-solving skills, and the laser beams could help with understanding of angles. Photo by Newton Graffitti, accessed via Flickr, reposted here under a creative commons license.
If you like English
“Paperback” “Paperback” is a drafting game where players draw letter cards and attempt to build words which they are scored on and paid for. With that money, players can purchase better letters to create more impressive words. In the game, players act as authors rushing to complete novels in different genres and earn money.
If you like History
“Twilight Struggle” This is a two-player game where one player acts as the Soviet Union and the other is the United States. The game is played over several decades, starting after World War II and leading to the Cold War. Photo by Nacho Facello, accessed via Flickr, reposted here under a creative commons license.
If you like Art
"The Gallerist" Playing a gallery owner, players search for new artists, buy and sell art and curate their galleries. As a result, galleries will gain respect and visitors, and gallerists can grow their fortunes. Photo by Volgar, accessed via Flickr, reposted here under a creative commons license.
If you like Music
"The Lords of Rock" In a fight to rule the universe, gods come together to form rock bands. Players select gods to play different instruments from certain pantheons and play concerts to gain fans and, in turn, defeat the other bands.


Computer graphics 

Best of Show: Ingrid Smith, “Game changers

Award of Merit: Lucy Marco, “A Sharp soundtrack

Honorable Mention: Logan Davis, “Allowing full capacity at AISD events is wrong


Digital storytelling 

Best of Show: Alice Scott, “After year and a half of online school, young students face whole new normal back on campus

Award of Merit: Alice Scott, Anna McClellan, Grace Nugent, Kate Boyle, “A COVID-19 year in the life of Mac


Features package 

Honorable Mention: Lucy Marco and Alice Scott, “Thank God it’s Friday


News package 

Award of Merit: Alice Scott, “Universities, school districts respond differently to threat of omicron


Opinion package 

Award of Merit: Logan Davis, “Allowing full capacity at AISD events is wrong


Photo gallery 

Honorable Mention: Josie Bradsby, Lydia Reedy and Kennedy Weatherby, “Class of ‘22 is on fire (figuratively)


Sports package: 

Best of Show: Charlie Partheymuller, “With fourth-down stops, potent ground attack, Knights outlast Grizzlies in overtime to take bi-district title

Award of Merit: Grace Nugent, “Taco Shack XX: the last chance


Photography categories

Freshman Aubrey Mitchell, an organizer for the walkout, brought together people from all over McCallum in order to speak out against sexual assault and to give them an opportunity to share their story. Prior to this picture being taken, Aubrey and her friend Grace smeared their hands with paint and scattered Aubrey’s torso with handprints, an ode to sexual assault survivors as well as the addition of the word “consent” painted across her stomach. With the body painting, Aubrey was attempting to make herself a visual representation of the reason every student walked out of class that day: to emphasize just how serious the issue of sexual assault is, and to protest the ways they feel McCallum has failed victims. “I felt heard, myself, and every story that was shared gave me a new perspective,” Mitchell said. “This whole event gave people a new voice of confidence and that was the goal.” Caption by Eliza Jensen and Emma Hagood. (Amaya Collier)


Best of Show: Sophie Kessler, “All smiles at UIL State” 


Environmental portrait

Best of Show: Amaya Collier, “Freshman Aubrey Mitchell


First year student

Best of Show: Emma Hagood, “Our halls should be safe



Award of Merit: Amaya Collier, “Standing up and walking out

Honorable Mention: Evie Barnard, “Genevieve and Bri


Sports reaction

Best in Show: Mia Gomez, “Revelling in a playoff victory” 


Student Life

Award of Merit: Meredith Grotevant, “A hair-raising solo” 


Photography portfolio
Best of Show: Kennedy Weatherby


Social media package
Best in show: Morgan Eye, Sophie Kessler and Logan Davis


Yearbook categories

Academic spread

Award of merit: Camille Wilson, Emii Anderson, Meredith Grotevant & Sol Ortiz, “C’est la tea


Club spread

Best of Show: Elly Schottman, “Go Pink or go home


Section divider

Honorable mention: Carly Johnson, “We’re back … finally


2022 SIPA’s Best Writing Contest winners


Broadcast categories 

Feature script

Third place – Alice Scott & Lucy Marco, “Thank God it’s Friday” 


Human interest script

Second place – Samantha Powers, “Coffeehouse makes a comeback


Sports script
Second place – Alice Scott, “Unmatched determination” or “Stepping up as leaders


Editorial column

First place – Lanie Sepheri,  “It’s time to write off annotation

Second place – Evelyn Griffin, “The ‘pick me’ girl persists


Print categories

Staff editorial

First place – Samantha Powers and Tobin Wine, “SB 3 is re-whiting history

Second Place – Ellen Fox, “We can handle the whole truth


Entertainment/feature column

First place – Alice Scott,  “Alamo Drafthouse finds a way

Third place – Samantha Powers, “Support Austin, not Amazon


News story 

Third place – Samantha Powers & Evelyn Griffin,  “Close Quarters


Personality profile 

First place – Madelynn Niles  “Recess back in session” or “Rock and roll (of film)

Second place – Ellen Fox  “Inspired in 2005 to help parents succeed, Moore wrote guide to interracial adoption” 

Honorable mention – Amaya Collier & Ingrid Smith  “Martinez marches to Mac band



First place – Madelynn Niles, “Minari: an intimate family portrait

Second place – Grace Nugent, “Wonder Woman 1984 bites the dust/Soul creates worlds of beautiful whimsy


Sports story

First place – Grace Nugent, “Inside the line” or  “Vandament enjoys home-run season

Third place – Kennedy Weatherby, “Twins on the three-point line

Honorable mention – Francie Wilhelm, “Skating through struggles


Sports story

First place – Marley Angle, “Straight shot to nationals” 


Online categories  

Alternative storytelling

Second place – Alice Scott, “Dear Mr. President and Madam Vice President


First place – Madelynn Niles and Grace Nugent,  “N&N at the movies”

Second place – Lucy Marco,  “Lucy’s Laboratory”

Third place – Lydia Reedy & Josie Bradsby, “Flavor Profiles”



First place – Alysa Spiro, “It’s High time to respect Jewish holidays” or “A cure for pandemic black boxes

Second place – Alice Scott, “Beautiful blue eyes”



Honorable mention: Caroline Owen,  “Not just a pipe dream”


Investigative story

Second place: Evie Barnard, “Q: Why is Fine Arts Academy coordinator job being cut? A: You better sit down for the answer. It’s complicated.” or “Despite standing to lose $34.76 million in state funding, district offers virtual learning to K-6 students



First place – Lucy Marco and Grace Nugent, “Restrictive trans athlete bill likely to reach House floor


Personality feature

First place – Lydia Reedy, “Mac Spanish teacher does her part to make COVID vaccine a reality”



Third place – Madelynn Niles, “Zilker Park event sheds light on unusual holiday season”


Sports column

First place – Thomas Melina Raab, “Bill to ban transgender athletes creates problem where there was none”

Second place – Anna McClellan, “Why high school athletes should be allowed to play


Sports feature 

First place – Samantha Powers, “Mac soph helps paint, raise Austin FC’s first tifo

Second place – Alice Scott, “Stepping up as leaders”


Sports news 

Second place – Grace Nugent, “Taco Shack XX: the last chance,” “10 years later and the win streak rests on one game” 

Third place – Logan Davis & Elisha Scott, “Tennis team captures bi-district title

Honorable mention – Thomas Melina Raab, “Riley ends stellar season with second-place state finish” or “Same place. Same two players. Different outcome.”


Photos cutline categories  

Freshman Aubrey Mitchell throws her hands in the air and cheers along with the crowd for one of the many students who spoke at the walk-out on Nov. 15. Along with feeling pride for the students who shared their stories, Mitchell also expressed her gratitude to everyone who came out to support the movement. “The amount of support that was given after each story filled my heart,” she said. “Everyone felt for each other. There was so much empathy in the crowd. They would cry with each other and yell out of anger.” Emotions ran high as each person came up to share their story with a line of their peers behind them waiting to share their own. “I couldn’t help but hug every one of them because the people who shared had a lot of courage,” Mitchell said. “Sexual assault [has] never been easy to talk about. The survivors who shared finally let those bottled up emotions out and there was absolutely no judgment in the crowd.” Caption by Elisha Scott. (Elisha Scott)
Feature cutline

First place – Bella Russo, “Meet the multiple multiples of McCallum

Second place – Alice Scott, “When setting a Pink Week fundraising record is secondary

Third place – Ellen Fox, “Seniors make most of muddy mask-querade


News cutline

First place – Elisha Scott, “Standing up and walking out”

Second place – Bo Witzel, “Women’s rally delivers an unmistakable message: repeal Senate Bill 8, vote its creators out of once


Sports cutline

First place – Caleb Melville, “Seniors share their emotions as their high school football experience ends with Friday’s playoff loss

Second place – Sophie Leung-Lieu, “Archery team surprises founder with national Coach of the Year Award for his work to build, sustain team

Third place – Charlie Partheymuller, “Taco Shack Bowl returns to normal, Taco Shack trophy returns to Mac


Yearbook categories

Alternative storytelling: 

First place – Zazie Bryant, “Quarantine must haves

Second place – Hannah Zuniga, “An early challenge

Third place – Lindsey Plotkin, “Sensational season comes to an emotional end


Community copy

First place – Naomi Di-Capua, “For one Austin neighborhood, community during a pandemic began with a song … or two

Second place – Josie Bradsby, “Building for now and the future


Groups copy

Second place – Lindsey Plotkin, “An unpredictably perfect week


People copy

First place – Madelynn Niles, “In making violin, junior double fine arts major strings together his love for art and music” or “Jacob’s ladder knows no limit

Third place – Francie Wilhelm, “Finding fulfillment


Sports copy

Second place – Lindsey Plotkin, “Major milestone

Third place – Grace Nugent, “Almost had it”  “An upset for the ages


Student life copy

First place – Lucy Marco, “Life as a teenage essential worker” 


Theme copy

First place – Lindsey Plotkin & Hannah Zuniga, “It’s not all blue